My review of this movie reflects some disappointment primarily because of the gap between the official story synopsis and what the movie actually portrays. As the synopsis implies, I was looking very forward to an interesting examination of communist/socialist Bulgaria after WWII. While the movie is set in that time period, the story is much more about one guy's love of his wife, as well as the heist they imperfectly carried out. These aspects alone, however, make this a very worthy watch. Its shot beautifully in B&W, highly impressive artistic camerawork, and very rich, detailed characters. Obviously its subtitled so be prepared to read, but that's by no means a distraction. The aspect of communist commentary is definitely a secondary consideration of this film; the plot positioned this movie very well to provide a searing commentary of society gone awry, it misses the opportunities. Again, though, its a great story to watch, well done in noir style, and a great character study. Highly recommended.
on October 5, 2012
It's not a usual movie experience. To me, it was full of symbolism and metaphors--mostly political. The dry wisdom of the Eastern Block nations reverberate throughout the scenes.
The script was beautiful. One can gather several of the lines and can create a poetry. Four star, because I am naturally not a big fan of dark movies as this.
on July 14, 2010
Noir fans will recognize the basic plot from one of the classics of the genre, but in many ways this is a fresh and original work. Curiously, it uses the sensibility of Frank Miller's Sin City stories a lot better than did the Sin City movie. The protagonist never has a chance, but he's tough enough that no one can make him do what he chooses to resist. The conclusion of the story, though forseeably depressing in part, is also a suprise triumph.
A man known as Moth gets out of prison in Bulgaria shortly after the fall of communism but finds little has changed: evil men are still in charge, including the one who sent him to commit the robbery for which he was incarcerated. Now the boss wants the spoils of Moth's robbery for himself, but will Moth give it up? How far is he prepared to go to keep it for himself? Whom can he trust? Maybe his old girlfriend? Noir fans will know the answer to that one.
Bulgarian cinema isn't known for competent, involving entertainments like this. As an American I enjoyed this enormously, though my wife informed me that she'd enjoyed many specific and cutting allusions to current Bulgaria which no doubt went right past me. A violent, fast-moving suspense thriller better than anything a Hollywood studio has produced this year.